PDFelement Pro 7 review: A full-featured Acrobat Alternative

With a refreshed interface, this elegant PDF editor makes it even easier to modify, secure, and share documents.

Credit: Wondershare

Wondershare’s PDFelement 6 Pro has been one of our favorite PDF editors, combining essential business features with a simple but sophisticated interface. Version 7 isn’t a major overhaul, thankfully, introducing only a few UI tweaks for even better usability while keeping the features that made its predecessor so great.

This review is part of our best PDF editors roundup. Go there to learn about our testing and how all the competitors performed. 

A user-friendly UI

Version 7’s refreshed user interface puts all the program’s main functions on its Home screen in large clickable tiles. From here you can jump-start the process of editing, creating, converting, combining, or batch processing PDFs, as well as access a library of PDF templates. A separate tile on the left lists your most recent documents along with a big, blue Open File button.

The top of the interface features a Microsoft Office-style toolbar containing master functions such as commenting, security, sharing, and page management. Clicking on any of these drops down a second toolbar with all the options for that particular function. Each of these toolbars appears to have also been refreshed for a more streamlined look, though they contain the same functions as in PDFelement Pro 6.

pdfelement annotate Wondershare

PDFelement Pro 7 includes a full slate of reviewing tools.

The goal with streamlined UI was clearly to get you where you want to go within a couple of clicks, and in that it succeeds.

Working with a PDF is much the same as it was in version 6. Each document opens in its own tab. Another toolbar down the left side allows you to open thumbnails of all the document’s pages, add bookmarks, review comments, manage attached files, and search text within the PDF.

Editing, creating, and converting

Behind the pretty interface is a business-ready feature set. Document editing is the meat-and-potatoes for PDFelement Pro, and here it allows considerable flexibility. You can edit text in-line or within a text box, drop in and manipulate images, insert links, change the document background, create headers and footers, and add and remove watermarks. It also supports Bates numbering.

The program includes a full slate of annotation tools, including text highlighting, sticky notes, stamps, signatures, shapes, and freehand markup. Fonts, color, and other formatting can be customized for each of these. Sharing documents for review is easy, with options for emailing and tracking with DocSend, and sending to Dropbox and Google Drive all available from the open document.

pdfelement share Wondershare

You can extract form data directly into a spreadsheet for analysis.

The previous version of PDFelement Pro supported a comprehensive range of file formats, so there was little need to improve on them here. You can convert PDFs to Excel, Word, PowerPoint, EPUB, Pages, HTML, RTF, and text formats, and create them from images, HTML, and text file formats.

If it ain’t broke…

PDFelement Pro 7’s perhaps best move is leaving the previous version’s strengths well enough alone. You can still easily create forms and extract their data directly to spreadsheets for analysis, averting the introduction of errors that can happen when inputting the information manually. You can secure documents with passwords and permissions, batch encryption, and digital signatures. And you can collaborate on documents without having to manage a convoluted chain of emails.

And Wondershare has thankfully kept it affordable, too. PDFelement Professional, which includes all the features mentioned here plus others, still costs just $99 for a single license, while a Standard version without some of the advanced business features is $69 per license. And both can be used for free with some feature restrictions. (Team and Education plans are also available with more information available on the website.)

Bottom line

PDFelement Pro 7 continues the program’s emphasis on simplicity, functionality, and affordability. If you’re already a PDFelement user or just starting to shop for an Adobe Acrobat alternative, you will find plenty to love.

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Michael Ansaldo

PC World (US online)
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